By Nyambega Gisesa
Security agencies have identified some secondary schools in Nairobi as some of the schools where the militant organisation, Al-Shabaab, is in a recruitment spree.
Al-Shabaab recruitment is ongoing in various secondary schools in Nairobi where students are being radicalised, introduced to Jihad.
They are then facilitated to commit terror acts aimed at damaging the economy, assassination of political and security leaders, and attacking western interests and tourists. According to a leaked report of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), besides mosques “recruitment is ongoing in schools, especially in Nairobi Technical School, Highway Secondary, Eastleigh High and Sheikh Khalifa in Mombasa.”
The report says that: “Islamic scholars with extremist tendencies have also been conducting programmes in schools such as Moi Forces, State House Girls, Limuru Girls, St George’s Secondary, Aga Khan and Eastleigh High within Nairobi.”
The report alleges that it is in some of these schools where students have demanded to be allowed to put on the hijab (veil for girls).
On November 1, 2010, a Kenya High School student sued the institution seeking orders on behalf of fellow Muslim students to force the school to comply with a directive by the then Education PS, Karega Mutahi, to schools to allow students wear religious dresses, especially the hijab for Muslims.
The case was filed by the student’s mother while other affidavits were sworn by Muslim scholar Sheik Khalfan Kamisi and one Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed. In a previous interview, Sheikh Ahmed M Athman, the Imam of Jamia Landhies Mosque, said wearing of hijab for women is an edict of the Quran and is mandatory.
Away from schools, students are also said to be receiving radicalisation lectures aimed at recruiting them into Jihad at Masjid Minaa in Kisauni, Masjid Chelsea and Maratib mosques in Eastleigh and Musa and Minaa mosques in Mombasa.
Sheikh Ibrahim Ismael Amru of Kisauni and Sheikh Juma Wazir alias Kirogo of Eastleigh are said to be behind the radicalisation. Al-Shabaab has identified secondary school students as easy carriers for their missions. Meanwhile, late last year the national intelligence officers carried out tests to gauge the security preparedness of clubs Florida 2000 and Club Bettyz in the CBD.
“On the first occasion, they entered with a laptop, on the second, with a large Chemistry book and on the third, they managed to enter with a pistol,” the report says. Not only did the report find the social joints vulnerable but also highlighted areas where potential terrorists could maximise for their attacks.
“During this mission, they identified peak hours, security checks, CCTV cameras and ideal points from where to carry out car bomb attacks. They further observed that the buildings could easily be accessed using fake identification documents obtained from River Road, Nairobi,” the report reads.
According to the report, Al-Shabaab has “widened recruitment of members to far flung areas in the country such as, Eldoret, Kitale, Maralal, Isiolo, Maua, Migori, Mumias, Oyugis, Kisii, Kiambu and Busia. Cell members have also set up base in suburbs of large towns such as Githurai and Dandora in Nairobi as well as Kisauni, Likoni and Ukunda at the Coast.”
“I am not behind recruitment of anyone to Al-Shabaab or planning terror attacks,” Abubakar Shariff aka Abu Makaburi, who is adversely mentioned in the report told The Nairobian.
But our attempts to reach the schools mentioned in the NIS report were futile.